For Immediate Release: January 8, 2009
Media Contact: Amy Morgan - 916-654-4989

MEDIA ADVISORY

Go Solar California Contest Educates Consumers
About Solar and Energy Efficiency

Southern Californian Wins 2009 Toyota Prius

Sacramento -- Californians embraced the power of the sun in the Energy Commission's first Go Solar California Sweepstakes that educated consumers about solar and energy efficiency. Nearly 17,000 entries were received in the contest and 34 percent - 5795 entries - requested more information about solar energy.

"We're thrilled to see that Californians are taking an active interest in learning about solar energy," said California Energy Commission Commissioner Karen Douglas. "The Go Solar California Sweepstakes showcased the many benefits of solar, and we encourage more consumers to seek out information about how to incorporate energy efficient and solar technologies into their everyday lives."

The sweepstakes, which ended November 30, 2008, challenged entrants to test their solar knowledge for a chance to win 'green' prizes, including a 2009 hybrid vehicle. Visitors took a solar quiz and watched an educational video about the Energy Commission's New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) on the GoSolarCalifornia.org website.

A component of the California Solar Initiative, the NSHP provides financial and marketing incentives to home builders to drive energy efficient, solar home construction. As of December 2008, the NSHP applications represent 6,475 new energy efficient solar homes and approximately 12.1 megawatts of solar capacity.

According to a recent study conducted by the National Association of Realtors, 90 percent of homebuyers reported that environmentally friendly features are important factors when making a home purchase. The NSHP is helping to educate consumers about the environmental and financial benefits of energy efficient solar homes through its marketing support efforts and on the GoSolarCalifornia.org website.

Shirley Topp of Corona won the 2009 Toyota Prius by taking a 'Solar Quiz' testing her knowledge about energy efficiency and solar technology. Winners of the monthly Energy Star Appliance and a Solio Cell Phone Charger are: M. Rosborough, Riverside; H. Panos, San Jose; and, P. Landsberg, West Hollywood. Prizes provided by Clear Channel.

A second 'Go Solar California Sweepstakes' will launch in the spring of 2009.

About the New Solar Homes Partnership

Launched in January 2007, the New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) is a component of the California Solar Initiative, signed into law in 2006 under Senate Bill 1 (Murray) to implement Governor Schwarzenegger's $3.3 billion, Million Solar Roofs Program.

The NSHP provides financial incentives and marketing support to home builders, encouraging the construction of new, energy efficient solar homes that save homeowners money on their electric bills and helps protect the environment. The goals of the NSHP are to create a self-sustaining market for solar homes and gain builder commitment to install solar energy systems on new homes as a standard feature for the home buyer. A new home that qualifies for the New Solar Homes Partnership is at least 15 percent more efficient than the current building standards. The overall goal of the NSHP is to achieve 400 megawatts of new solar-produced electricity by the end of 2016.

To find more information about new energy efficient solar homes in California, visit www.GoSolarCalifornia.org.

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